A Guide for Avoiding Freeze Damage
Winter is here, and with it comes the threat of freeze damage to your home. Cold temperatures and freezing pipes can cause thousands of dollars in damage if not properly addressed. Here are some tips to help prevent freeze damage to your home this winter:
- Insulate your pipes: Insulating your pipes is one of the most effective ways to prevent freeze damage. Insulation can be found at most hardware stores and is easy to install. Be sure to insulate pipes in unheated areas, such as the attic, garage, and crawl spaces. Additionally, insulating your water heater can help keep it warm and prevent freezing. You can find pre-cut insulation blankets at most hardware stores.
- Seal any air leaks: Cold air can enter your home through small cracks and gaps, causing your pipes to freeze. Be sure to seal any air leaks around windows, doors, and electrical outlets to keep the cold air out.
- Keep your thermostat set to the same temperature: When you go on vacation or go to bed at night, it can be tempting to turn down the thermostat to save money on your heating bill. However, this can cause your pipes to freeze if the temperature drops too low. Instead, invest in a programmable thermostat that can keep your home at a consistent temperature, even when you're not there. Be sure to keep your thermostat set to at least 55 degrees, even when you're not at home.
- Keep your garage door closed: If your garage is attached to your house, be sure to keep the door closed to prevent cold air from entering your home.
- Let your faucets drip: Running water through your pipes can help prevent them from freezing. If the temperature is forecasted to drop below freezing, let your faucets drip to keep water moving through the pipes.
- Disconnect garden hoses: Be sure to disconnect all garden hoses from outdoor faucets before the first freeze. This will help prevent freezing in the faucet and hose bib, which can cause expensive damage.
- Open cabinets: Cold air can circulate around your pipes, causing them to freeze. To help keep your pipes warm, open the cabinet doors under your sink, especially if they are located on an exterior wall.
- Know where your main water shut-off valve is: In case of an emergency, it's important to know where your main water shut-off valve is located. This will allow you to turn off the water to your home quickly and prevent further damage
By following these tips, you can help prevent freeze damage to your home this winter. Remember, taking preventative measures now can save you thousands of dollars in damage later. And, as always, if you have any doubts or need specific instructions for your home, it's always best to consult with a professional.
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